Animal charity Dogs Trust is opening three dog training schools in Leeds to tackle an epidemic of canine behavioural problems.
Doggy misdemeanours cost the average owner over £300 a year in repairs after their pet has caused damage to clothing and furniture.
Over half of owners have replaced at least one pair of shoes every month and one in five are too worried to let their disobedient dog off the lead.
The charity hopes that its dog training schools in Barwick-in-Elmet, Tingley and Pool-in-Wharfedale will appeal to the 88 per cent of dog owners who have not previously sought professional help for their animal's behavioural issues.
They will offer practical, expert training and advice based on recent advances in dog behaviour science. Dogs Trust Leeds dealt with over 700 requests last year from owners wanting their pet to be re-homed because of difficulties in managing its behaviour.
Owners will learn how to teach their dog new skills using positive, reward-based methods, find out more about dog behaviour and build a trusting relationship.
Four in 10 owners have found themselves in trouble when their dog has damaged important documents including homework and dissertations. Nearly a third of those surveyed said their companion displayed destructive tendencies when left alone.
The charity's director of canine behaviour and research Dr Rachel Casey said:
“Behaviour problems are a massive welfare issue for dogs: they are the most common reason for dogs to be relinquished to Dogs Trust Rehoming Centres, in Yorkshire alone we had 703 calls in 2016 from dog owners looking to hand their dogs to Dogs Trust Leeds. Dogs Trust Dog School was set up to deal with this problem at the source. We want to give owners the right information and skills to be able to live happy and fulfilling lives with their dogs.
“Dog School is different from traditional training classes as it teaches your dog to fit happily into your family life. Although this includes training things like sitting when asked and coming back when you call, it goes much further. We help your dog learn how to behave in everyday situations, such as when you pass other dogs in the street or need him to settle down when you’re watching TV. Dog School is also about making sure you develop a strong bond with your dog, understand his behaviour, and know how to react if things don’t go according to plan.”
For more information on Dogs Trust Dog School in Yorkshire including how you can register for a place, visit http://www.dogstrustdogschool.org.uk/dog-school/
Items dogs from Yorkshire have damaged:
Shoes (56 per cent)
Clothing (43 per cent)
Photos (19 per cent)
Jewellery (19 per cent)
Homework (19 per cent)
Most common problem behaviour traits of dogs in Yorkshire:
Barking at people coming to the door (55 per cent)
Pulling on the lead (42 per cent)
Begging for food (34 per cent)
Barking at other dogs (31 per cent)
Jumping up at unfamiliar people or visitors (28 per cent)
Places people in Yorkshire don’t like to go with their dog in case he or she doesn’t behave well:
Busy crowded event (16 per cent)
Restaurant (16 per cent)
Walking along a street with heavy traffic (12 per cent)
Going into a shop (11 per cent)
Going into a pub (11 per cent)